Keeping The Heart

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” – Proverbs 4:23

Keeping Your Heart

We are so excited to announce that Fully Alive Women’s Ministry is starting up in August! This fall we will be learning how to live steadfast, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled lives by studying the magnificent book of Philippians. Our daily passion for Jesus will burn brighter as we learn to maintain our hearts with increased love, joy and faithfulness to the Word of God. The gospel will be advanced in our lives, families and ministries. Prayers will be answered! We will abound in love for God and for each other as we keep our hearts burning for Christ and Him alone.

So mark your calendars! On August 21st at 6:30p.m. we will have our first evening of worship, teaching, prayer, and fellowship.

Let’s grow in hearing God’s voice in his word. This semester we will deepen our relationship with Jesus by encountering him in his word. We will learn what it means to keep our hearts—which is one of the most important, yet hard things we can do.

Let’s be women who are marked by prayer. We want to nurture a culture of praying together—whether that is scheduled prayer or spontaneous prayer. Author Megan Hill calls Genesis 4:26 the first true great awakening. It says, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.” Let’s be women who pray for this in our day.

Let’s pray for this for the lost and hurting in our city, but let’s enjoy the benefits of praying together too. David Mathis in his book Habits of Grade shares nine benefits of praying together as believers: 1) Added power. 2) Multiplied joy. 3) Greater glory to God. 4) Fruitful ministry and mission. 5) Unity among believers. 6) Answers we otherwise wouldn’t get. 7) To learn and grow in our prayers. 8) To know each other. 9) To know Jesus more. (112-116).

Let’s grow in our relationships with each another. What a joy godly friendship is. Many of us have walked in the beauty of godly friendship for many years and it reminds me of Nathan Tarr’s biographical sermon on Esther Edwards Burr. Esther said, “I esteem religious conversation one of the best helps to keep up religion in the soul (I don’t know but the very vest).” Let’s deepen our friendships this year and invite others into it.

As we gather this fall our aim is to glorify God and to edify each other. We are exhorted in Hebrews 10:23 to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” And so as we come together, “let us consider how to stir one another up to love and good works” (v.24).

As we do this together, let’s ask God to make us a community that is so compelling that our non-believing friends and neighbors would take notice and desire to know God because of what He is doing in his people. And as we share the gospel with our friends and neighbors and let’s expose them to the supernatural community that is the local church.

So this fall, let’s come together and feast on the word, lift up our hands and hearts in prayer and worship, and let’s encourage one another all the more as the Day is drawing near (Heb. 10:25). Invite your friends to be a part of this compelling community of women. See you in August!

Here are the details for the Kick-Off celebration service:

Location: Christ Church Knoxville

Date: August 21st

Time: 6:30p.m.

UPDATE – Fully Alive at Five Holiday Schedule

Fully Alive at Five is done for the year. There will be no more Fully Alive at Five Tuesday morning meetings until the new year, HOWEVER don’t miss the Fully Alive Finale on Sunday December 10th! More details will be coming soon about the finale party but be sure to mark your calendars.

Once again we have seen the faithfulness of the Lord as He met us at this semester of Fully Alive. What a joy it was to come to together and sing praises to Jesus for what He has done to purchase our salvation! We pray that your soul has been encountered this semester on Tuesday mornings and we hope that your lives are marked by Christ in a whole new way during this holiday season. We will let you know what the schedule for next year looks like but just know that we are looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2015!

Fully Alive 2014: Kickoff Recap!

David said it best: “Blessed is the one you choose and bring near…we will be satisfied with the goodness of your house!” Psalm 65:4.

Last night at the Alive at Five Fall Launch, we were brought near to the throne and were satisfied by His presence with us! I am filled with awe and expectation as I look  forward to Tuesday morning at 5 am with you faithful gals…and Jesus!  Be there! –Kathy

Kathy’s message from the Fall Kickoff is now online. Click here and to download or stream the audio file below:

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Fully Alive 2014 Kickoff!

I am sure your summer has been full of lots of friendship, family activity, traveling, work and fun!  Fall is a season for reaping and renewal!  I am trusting the Holy Spirit to do just that in our hearts as we launch another semester of Alive at Five on Sunday night, Sept. 21, at 7 pm!
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Yes, we will launch our Fall Kick-Off with an evening edition of Alive at Five by hosting a City-wide Worship Celebration! This will be a time for seeing and savoring Jesus Christ!  He promises to meet with us as we gather!  When He is in the room with us there is fullness of joy!  So, if you are hungry to know divine joy, the kind of soul-satisfying delight that only comes with he presence and pleasure of God, then bring and friend and join us!
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Here are the details for the Kick-Off  Celebration service and for the resuming Tuesday, 5 am, morning schedule, beginning on September 23, at 5am.
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Here are the details:
When: Sunday, Sept. 21st
Time: 7pm 
Location: Christ Church Knoxville – NEW LOCATION
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Below are the dates for this semester but as always, make sure you follow us on our NEW Fully Alive Ministry Facebook page or on the Fully Alive blog in order to easily receive any schedule changes due to weather, etc as well as other announcements, updates, testimonies and resources.
Fall 2014 Schedule:
Kick-Off Celebration Service:
– Sept 21
Tuesday 5AM Meetings: 
– Sept 23rdOct 7thOct 21stNov 4thNov 18th
End of Semester Celebration Service:
– Dec 2

Fully Alive on Facebook

Did you know that Fully Alive is on Facebook? We have consolidated our FA Kids and FA at Five pages into one page: Fully Alive Ministries. Be sure to go to https://www.facebook.com/fullyaliveministry and click “Like” to follow us! Stay up to date with everything Fully Alive from events to pictures, from blog posts to discussions. Be sure to go online and suggest this page to everyone you know! Fully Alive Ministries is able to grow and, more importantly, the Fully Alive message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as you suggest and link and these resources to friends and family.

Thank you for being a part of Fully Alive!

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Bloggers Around Fully Alive

Did you know that several of the moms and women in Fully Alive Ministries are bloggers themselves? Check out the websites of these ladies that serve on the Fully Alive Leadership Team:

 

FA- DevonDevon Tarr has a passion for ministry, worship and glorifying God through dance. She has devoted many hours of her life to studying the scriptures, specifically focusing on worship through dance. Check out her blog “The Dancing Key” at http://thedancingkey.wordpress.com/.

 

FA- Kelly Tarr Kelly Tarr is wife and mother of three children whose passion is Jesus Christ. In all things whether teaching, reading, parenting, learning or serving, Kelly seeks the Scriptures for her great foundation. Check out Kelly’s blog at http://kellytarr.com/.

 

FA- ashley bakerAshley Baker is also a wife, mother and blogger who loves to learn about Jesus with her family. Her lifestyle blog goes everywhere from teaching her kids to having fun on the weekends. Check out Ashley’s blog “The Pencilled Daydream” at http://pencilleddaydream.com/

 

Perspectives from Uganda: Abby

We have been posting testimonies from different team members who were on the Uganda mission trip several weeks ago featuring their personal experiences from this time of ministry. These posts will be here on the Fully Alive Website for Abby and Lauren, since they focused on the women’s ministry, and on the Christ Church Website for the men who served on the trip as well.

Here is Abby’s testimony from her time with the team in Uganda:


Sitting on the plane flying from Amsterdam to Uganda, my first journal entry read: “We are on our way to Uganda. We’ve already encountered quite a few obstacles—Aunt Kathy’s passport wasn’t up to par with regulations and she had to stay behind, we almost missed our connecting flight to Amsterdam, and my tickets weren’t booked appropriately which meant I had difficulty at every gate-one thing after another. Praising You that no weapon formed against us will prosper… we believe that this is a sign of the effective work You are going to accomplish as we go for the sake of Your name and the gospel”. At Our last meeting before the trip, we had all confessed our great need for God to supply what He would have us give to the Ugandan Church. Even as we met obstacles, we knew that it was Him who provides what we need to fulfill the task for which He calls us. All we could do was trust Him.

Kathy Tarr, known to me as “Aunt Kathy”, had planned to host sessions for the pastor’s wives and other female Christian leaders in the area while the men in our group hosted a pastor’s conference. And here we were on a plane without her. I had been asked to come prepared to lead the women in worship, but I was not prepared to lead anything beyond worship. As soon as I found out that Aunt Kathy could not join us, I began to ask God to make me a willing vessel if He would see fit to speak His Word through me to these women. I was aware that I would be much younger than most of these women, they had endured hardship that I could not even begin to imagine, they were mothers and wives, and ultimately, their lives were very different from mine. But what I kept being reminded of from Isaiah 55:11 is that His Word never returns to Him empty but accomplishes His purpose and will succeed in the thing for which He sends it. His Word is a sure foundation. This very truth was what my brothers, Nathan, Mark, and Nick were teaching on the day leading up to the women’s session.

So, strengthened by the Word of God from the mouth of our brothers, Lauren and I stood before the women and began to share about the love that God demonstrates to women throughout His precious Word, specifically focusing on John 4. We read Psalm 139 and reminded them that just as He knew the Samaritan woman in John 4, so He knows each of us. “You know when I sit down and when I rise up…You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me…” (Ps. 139:2, 5, 6a). As I looked out over the women, and spoke, I prayed silently that He would be faithful to encourage them with His Word coming out of this very weak vessel. After we finished, we had some time for the women to ask questions or comment. And we were humbled as woman after woman stood up and thanked us for coming all the way from the U.S. to bring them the Word of God. One of them said “we trust that if God brought you from the U.S. to Uganda to speak to us, then He has something to say”. They didn’t care that we were young, single, American and etc. They knew that we shared a common hope, which is Christ, and they wanted to share in the deposit He had given to us. I walked away awed by God and encouraged by these precious sisters.

Fully Alive sisters, we have sisters and mothers in the faith who are fully alive in Uganda. Pray for them. The obstacles they face are different than ours, but they are pressing into Jesus and His word. They don’t have easy lives by our American standards, but they worship and pray with exuberance. Even as Lauren and I were able to bless and encourage the Ugandan women, we left deeply blessed and encouraged. We were challenged to grow in our love for His Word, prayer, fasting and come into His presence in worship with great joy. He is worthy!

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Reclaiming God’s Design for Marriage

Years ago Kathy Tarr spoke at a marriage seminar for couples. The seminar was focusing on God’s eternal plans for husbands and wives. This was a rich time of teaching and worshipping in and through the Word of God. God has a very clear calling on the lives of men and women who get married and we want to follow that vision to glorify His great name!

For the longest time these teachings have been tucked away on CDs that were dispersed to the attendees of that conference. Fully Alive Ministries is happy to provide the audio files from these sessions online for the first time! We hope that you will benefit from these teaching sessions as you seek to please God in your marriages. Be sure to share the links with friends and family as well!

You can listen or download the messages in MP3 format by clicking below or going to the Fully Alive resources page.

SessionTitleSpeakerListen/download
I"God's Beautiful Design"Kathy TarrClick here to listen
II"What Happened to Paradise"Kathy TarrClick here to listen
III"Restoring Oneness - Part 1"Kathy TarrClick here to listen
IV"Restoring Oneness - Part 2"Kathy TarrClick here to listen

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Perspectives from Uganda: Lauren

A few weeks ago Christ Church Knoxville had a team in Uganda serving the missionary base “Youth Ablaze”. They spent time ministering to the teams there and sharing the Gospel with the local peoples. What a joy it was to hear all that the Lord has done when they returned!

We have been posting testimonies from different team members featuring their personal experiences from Uganda. These posts will be here on the Fully Alive Website for Abby and Lauren, since they focused on the women’s ministry, and on the Christ Church Website for the men who served on the trip as well.

Here is Lauren’s testimony from her time with the team in Uganda:


The Rock on Which I Stand

Lauren Oppizzi

The culture shock was quite surprising–it was my first time ever leaving the borders of America. I’m not sure why I assumed that landing in Africa would feel ‘normal’, but it was far from this. How do I engage with people? Was it okay to make eye contact with that man? Why are there officers walking around the airport with machine guns–are they mad? This was far from ‘normal’ to me. It actually all felt pretty uncomfortable.

When we arrived to the church in Tororo, Uganda, I was exceptionally comforted as I walked in and saw a banner hung across the front of the room. It read, “Jesus Christ is the same…”. Despite the differences in an unfamiliar culture and location, I was deeply ministered to by this simple yet powerful truth that stretches across the globe and all circumstances. And it was so wonderful to meet my African brothers and sisters, and see that we did have something significant in common–Jesus Christ. That felt familiar.

Little did I know, the truth on that banner would penetrate my heart in unthinkable ways over the next several days. Many people told me that I would never be the same after going to Africa for the first time, and they are correct. But this is for no other reason than I was encountered by Jesus while I was there —through His powerful, fixed word, prayer and worship with His people, and finally, the rending of my heart unto repentance and then seeing the beauty and sufficiency of Christ.

Since I can remember, I have unfortunately struggled with some fear and anxiety. You can call it a thorn in my side–emotions can be a very good thing, a wonderful gift even; but they have also gotten the best of me in times past. For weeks up until and for some of the trip itself, these struggles became extremely intense, even to the point of despair. The internal battle was coupled with other small things that contributed to the minor discomfort and unfamiliarity– loosing our luggage for a few days, sickness, and (of course) jet lag. Oh but how faithful our Lord is to work every little detail together for the good of those who love Him. He used each one of these pressures to gently humble me and cast me at His feet with nothing in myself to offer Him. And He was so faithful to respond to my cry and speak to my heart. My eyes were opened in a new way to the sufficiency, power, and surety of God’s word as brothers from my church (in America) spoke this truth throughout the course of the trip. It was definitely a theme that the Lord sovereignly wove through most conversations and teachings that went on. He clearly had something to convey to us all.

As we were all exhorted to see and consider the sufficiency of Christ and His word throughout the week, this was (rightly) the only foundation which Abby and I had to stand on as we unexpectedly had to prepare to teach a beautiful group of women on the last day of the seminar. What a marked moment this process was! The night before, The Lord met us as we cried out for Him to come in our preparation and ministry time. At this point, The Lord began to really open His word, give clarity, peace, joy, and strength, and he moved powerfully among us all on that day as we sat outside under the tree. He truly strengthened and ministered to us all as we were faithful, by His grace, to hold up His word and speak it to our sisters. We had no clue how joint ministry time would weave together, since we had never done it before at this point; but it was done beautifully and led solely by the Holy Spirit.

I had never been so confident in the power, sufficiency, ability, and clarity of God’s word until that day. And I am so thankful for the encouragement given by others that week, because it propelled me to follow Him to do something I was pretty nervous to do. But by His grace, I was not bound or hindered by feelings or emotions, but was able to cling to and proclaim His word; and He was more than sufficient. As our time teaching came to an end, it was awesome to watch the Holy Spirit continue to move as the women began speaking the word to one another, to us, and in prayer as a response. It was so wonderful to fellowship with these women over God’s word.

As I have reflected on the trip, I am also taken back and deeply encouraged as I remember the day we hiked to the top of Tororo Rock with the Youth Ablaze students. These students are enrolled in a 2 year school, and are being trained in the gospel and in apologetics. Their ultimate purpose for this is to graduate and then be launched to unreached tribes and countries– to share the gospel and to plant churches where Christ has not yet been named (Check them out; the school is no longer called Youth Ablaze, but renamed as Send 56–http://send56.org/).

When we reached the top of the rock and shared the beautiful, panoramic display of God’s glory in the African sky, we joined hands with one another and prayed. We then turned to every side of that rock and prayed over the nations, and came back together to worship the Lord together. I will never forget this moment, it was profound and beautiful to me. This was a moment that The Lord sobered me regarding His purposes–for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. I looked up and saw several people who are joyfully laying down their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ–though it could mean their own blood.

These men reflected something about Christ that I became hungry to know—that He is worthy and He is ALIVE–and the reality of this good news must be shared–for His glory and joy of the nations as they see Him for who He is! As we began to hike back down the rock, I shook the hand of one of these men, and as I looked at him, these realities really hit my heart and I just began to weep.

At the time, I did not quite understand what happened that day, or the shift that occurred in my heart over the trip. But now I can look back and see that The Lord very sweetly marked a place on earth that testifies to what He has done. On Tororo Rock, He planted my feet on the Rock of Christ, and called me to join Him on His mission. Whatever it ultimately will look like (God knows), He called me to serve those who are laying their lives down for the sake of the gospel–ones of whom this world is not worthy (Hebrews 11:38).

By God’s mercy, I left Tororo transformed and hungry for more of His word. As I was stripped and humbled in a few ways, and then met by His life, I left more in love with Jesus than when I arrived. As I have come back to America, I am even more comforted by the truth that I saw displayed on the banner in the African church, that “Jesus Christ is the same…” and nothing can thwart His purposes or undo what He has done through Christ (Isaiah 14:27; 43:10-13). He is moving on the earth, and will finish this work He began. Despite what we see and what or who we lose. And He will be with us to the end, as our sufficient help (Matthew 28:20).

When the eyes are graciously opened to see that the word of God is true and sure, and its seen through the centrality of the cross—the living Word and the truth of the gospel happens to us. It comes more of a reality to our hearts and fixes the feet on the immovable Rock Himself. The heart becomes steadfast as it trusts in the love and mercy of God that is displayed on the cross. Indeed, His truth even sets the heart free to sacrificially love God and His people–as a fragrant offering, despite how weak and broken we are. I pray this trust increases as I know Him more (Psalm 9:10) and gives me boldness to follow Him wherever He leads. However this looks.

And I am so thankful that I serve an all sufficient and loving Savior!

 

Reminder About Fully Alive Retreat

ATTENTION LADIES!!! This is a quick update regarding registration for the retreat upcoming this Saturday, April 12th. You now have until 7pm tomorrow evening to sign up at the $30 discounted rate. We are so looking forward to this sweet time together in the satisfying presence of Jesus! Hurry up and register by clicking here so that you can save your extra $5 for a treat on the road.

Also, please let us know if finances are prohibiting you from attending. We want to make sure that all who desire to be there can be there. You can simply contact the retreat admin team will confidentially work with you to make a way for you to attend.

Don’t forget to let us know if you desire to participate in the caravan when you register. Later this week we will be sending out directions and caravan information to all who have registered, along with any other details you might need for the day.

What a privilege it is to be able to meet together in the presence of our sweet Savior in the splendor of God’s magnificent creation. We pray that your hearts are stirred with anticipation and longing for this time! We can’t wait to see you there!

Blessings,

The Fully Alive Ministry Team